How to Choose the Perfect Family Photographer

5 Things You Must Know in Choosing the Perfect Family Photographer

Updating family photos happens yearly for most families, especially those with little ones. The first few years fly by in a blur. So much changes year to year and documenting the milestones is important.

With so many talented photographers out there, choosing the best family photographer can be overwhelming. Photographers vary in style, approach, editing and more. You want to invest in one that will give you the best photos for your family and one that you can rely on year after year.


1. Type of Photographer: Lifestyle Photographer vs. Portrait Photographer

Lifestyle photographers are growing in popularity but if you aren’t in the industry, you might be wondering — “What is a lifestyle photographer?”

Lifestyle photography is a style of photography that focuses on capturing connections and moments that happen organically. It focuses less on getting the perfect portrait with everyone looking directly at the camera with the perfect smile, but more on capturing the feeling of the families connections. It is perfect for little wigglers.

Traditional portrait photographers focus more heavily on posing and getting the perfect shot with everyone looking directly at the camera.

Decision Tip: Both styles of photography are beautiful but it comes down to what you want most from your photos and what aligns more with your family style.

2. Style of Photographer

Photographers are artists and will typically have a signature style or look and feel to their work. There are so many classifications of “styles” of photography from Light and Airy to Dark and Moody to Timeless and more.

These generalizations and labels will likely mean nothing to you but I do encourage you to look at the photographers portfolio. Their work will have a look and feel to it. Pick a photographer that has a style that resonates with you

Decision Tip: These photographs will likely adorn your walls for years to come. Pick a photographer that has a style that will match your decor and will fit nicely in your home and personal style.

3. Studio vs Natural Setting

Most lifestyle family photographers work in a natural setting. This could mean shooting at an outdoor location or potentially in a family’s home. Working in a natural setting introduces more elements for variety into your session such as weather, lighting and scenery.

Some photographers own their own studio or use one for their sessions. Working in a controlled environment, without the elements of weather, will give a very consistent and polished gallery of images.

Decision Tip: Choose a location that matches your family style and one you will feel most comfortable in. If you love nature and flowers, go for an outdoor session. Do you adore your home and the nostalgia it carries – do an in-home session.

4. Photography Genre

Photographers will often specialize in a type of photography. There are photographers that specialize in Families, Newborns, Weddings, Maternity, Engagement….etc.

Choosing a photographer that specializes in Families will assure you they are comfortable with working with children, and directing the family dynamic for the most authentic and genuine photos.

Decision Tip: Take a look at their website. A well designed website will tell you exactly what it is that they specialize in.

5. Connection

The more comfortable you feel with your photographer, the more comfortable you will feel on photo day with them behind the camera.

Decision Tip: Schedule a call with the photographer if you don’t know them yet or don’t feel connected to them. Typically there will be commonalities to relate to like children or being a working mom.


Read the Reviews

Google and Facebook are great places to research a photographer. A great photographer will be well liked and have outstanding reviews. Take some time to read the reviews and see if there are any trends. Are they good with kids? Are they responsive and professional? Pick a photographer that is known for what you need.


From the first inquiry, you should get an idea of how responsive they are. Photos are an investment and you should feel well taken care of from first inquiry through gallery delivery and beyond.


You want to feel confident that a photographer will be capable of reproducing the photos you see in their portfolio for your own family. Scan their portfolio and pay attention to how consistent their work is. You should notice a trend in the style of shooting, editing and types of photos they showcase.

What is Included in Package

Pricing and package structures can vary widely. Some photographers will include full rights and digital download of the entire gallery, while others will charge a session fee only and sell the prints separate. Aside from price, you must look at the full package do determine the value you will receive.



Asking friends and family for referrals is a great place to start. You will not only see their work but also get a first hand review of the experience.

Google Search

As with everything else in life, Google has it all. Keep in mind that there are many many photographers out there and depending on the strength of their SEO, they may not appear on the first few pages.

Local Listings

Some of the larger cities will have some ranking lists that will offer a “Best of the Best” few lists that rank high on Google and they can be a great place to start. These are often non-biased reviews and will give you a great selection of photographers to review.

I hope you found these tips valuable in finding the perfect family photographer for your next photo session. If you did, please share with friends or family members that may need some extra help too.

I applaud your effort to finding someone that will serve your family well and encourage you to invest the time in finding someone you can work with year after year. Us photographers grow to love your family and seeing you grow each year!



Looking to make the most of your photography session? Visit these other helpful links:

Love Your Family Photo Session with These Simple Tips

Choosing the Perfect Outfits for Family Photos

Life moves too fast. Although we can’t slow it down, we can record the moments that fill our hearts and tell our story through photos and films. I am a Pittsburgh family photographer and film maker that helps families record their stories and pause some of life’s greatest moments.

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about Danielle Blewitt

Life Moves Too Fast!

Hi, I’m Danielle. I’m a Pittsburgh Family + Newborn photographer. As a mom of two, I know how fleeting the early years are. Since we can’t slow down time, we can record the moments that mean so much. I help Pittsburgh families hit pause by recording these memories in photographs and films and I would love to work with you. Let’s see what we can create!

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